Introduction: Mucoproduction plays an important role in the processes of tumor progression, invasion and metastasis. In non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), mucins hypersecretion has been associated with alterations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression. However, the relation of mucins with EGFR in these tumors is not completely clarified.
Aims: To evaluate the relation between mucoproduction, the expression of EGFR and its ligand the epidermal growth factor (EGF) in NSCLC samples.
Materials and Methods: A number of 71 routinely processed formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded archival samples with diagnosis of NSCLC were used. Mucoproduction was considered when periodic acid-Schiff reaction (PAS) positive and/or alcian blue positive substances were observed. The immunolocalization of EGFR and EGF molecules were detected by mean of immunohistochemical methods. Chi-square test was applied to compare two or three different parameters. In all cases, the criterion for statistical significance was p<0.05.
Results: The production of mucins was related with the occurrence of metastasis (p = 0.0151) as well as, with a more advanced stage of NSCLC disease (p = 0.0409). The presence of mucin was statistically significant associated to histology (p < 0.0001) and degree of cytological atypia (p = 0.0325). The expression of EGFR was associated with mucin hyperproduction (p = 0.0205). The levels of mucin production was statistical significant increase in NSCLC samples displaying double expression of EGFR and EGF (p=0.0297) when compared with EGFR-/EGF+ and EGFR-/EGF-.
Conclusions: The results obtained in the present work could support the role of uncontrolled EGFR system activation mediated by the ligand EGF in NSCLC mucins hyperproduction as well as its relation with tumor progression and metastasis processes.
Published on: Apr 20, 2017 Pages: 25-31